I was recently really privileged to be able to take part as one of the Pootles Design Team for May. This meant that along with a few other papercrafters who work as Stampin' Up! demonstrators under the huge umbrella of award winning blogging and You Tubing papercrafter Sam Hammond Donald aka Pootles of Pootles Papercraft and Pootles.co.uk, I was tasked with making four projects using the Butterfly Basics stamp set, one a week to be blogged about each Thursday in May.
I made more than 4 projects so thought I'd share pics of the out takes, the ones that were left on the cutting room floor here along with those I went with in the end. Beneath the gallery I sum up what delights being in the team brought my way in case you fancy a read of that as part of my exiting the design team, although I think that once you are in it you are a life long member so that's another plus. Each picture has a little description so enjoy! Let me know if you would like instructions on any of the projects. The ones which were used for the challenge do have their own blog posts out there and three of the four have a free PDF download.
The design team runs every month but each month Sam chooses a different stamp set for us all to work with. When I asked to be considered I thought it would be a good challenge for me to have to blog weekly, to have to produce a new project and to be confined to using just one stamp set. I didn't realise what a fab experience being involved in the team would be. I'm just going to list the benefits rather than recite them in a prosaic form as I'll go on for ever:
1. I received an unanticipated spike each week of visitors to my blog, website and other social media and through that lots of people subscribed to my blog which has totally blown me away and I'm so grateful to each and everyone of you who visited or subscribed.
2. Lots of people downloaded my PDF tutorials! I was amazed that with my simple designs people wanted to know how to do them! It is my complete joy to inspire people to craft so these downloads have really really made my month.
3. I have really become best friends with the Butterfly Basics stamp set! I loved the kind of focused isolation of taking that set and using it to its max. It's something I intend to do for myself in the future with each of my stamp sets in turn to really max out the use of them and make the investment well worth it. I don't want heaps of unused stamp sets on my shelves and this challenge had made me keen to make sure that doesn't happen.
4. I've grown in confidence with my papercrafting. From someone who just wanted to make white boxes with a gold belly band for my Crafty Little Things projects I have evolved into someone who can make other things, more colourful and elaborate things and I can't only make them I can also design them! I'm overwhelmed by that. I didn't think I was a creative person so it's cool to find out that I actually am.
5. It has strengthened the bonds with other papercrafters in the Stampin' Up! community.
6. I've grown in confidence and feel that my contributions to the papercrafting world are as worthy as anyone else's and that's a great feeling.
All this connectivity really floats my boat and it's just something I didn't anticipate when I sheepishly offered myself up to be considered for the team. I'm so grateful to Sam for allowing us to share her platform and for laying down the gauntlet that pushed me out of my comfort zone and left me feeling a better person for having accomplished something and learned more about myself and built in confidence. May was a good month but there's still so much left to do before it ends.
Thanks for popping in as ever and if you have a chance to push or challenge your creativity in no matter how small a way DO IT! You may be surprised at what rewards you get. If you want to buy the butterfly basics stamp set or any of the materials used in creating these projects please click here to visit my Stampin' Up! online store. Your custom would be most appreciated.